Beautiful winter light greeted me on my most recent visit to the UTC@Harbourside site but I had to work quickly before the sun set. The brickwork at the Carpenter’s Workshop was undergoing repairs. Amongst the debris was a section of wrinkled up, dried out old paint. Graham, who was escorting me around the site, pointed out the dozens or maybe hundreds of layers of paint here on this one section of old wall. In fact, the colours I find everywhere on this site continually surprise and inspire me.
The old Marine and Carpenter’s Workshops in Newhaven Harbour have been empty for a long time now but they were once a hive of industrial activity where boats, ferries and even a paddle steamer were maintained and repaired, with the adjacent railway buildings housing their own railway workshops.
The buildings will now have a new lease of life. Renovation and rebuilding will transform this beautiful old building into a new University Technical College for 14-19-year-olds. UTC@Harbourside will specialise in marine and environmental engineering. The partners behind this new school have hired me to document the process of this renovation. For 15 months, I will be taking a weekly journey down the road from Lewes to the coast to watch this old abandoned building emerge as a new place for learning and inspiration.